The â€œNowhereâ€ in the title is initially a barren place, the first three minutes of the opening track little more than faint geiger-counter-like glitches, before being crashed into by industrial electronics and barely discernible vocal declarations that form a jolting chaos for a couple of minutes, before disappearing as abruptly as they arrived, leaving only a radiophonic workshop-esque scenario of meandering tones.
This largely sets the tone for the entire work, which is substantially improvised, in Smolders own words â€œletting things flow and interfering only when necessaryâ€, â€œI have left the idea of a preconceived/designed compositionâ€, â€œthere is only a vague idea before I start recordingâ€. Large expanses of gentle scientific, sometimes sci-fi ambience are occasionally gatecrashed by sudden and acrid assaults of white or discordant noise so abrupt they ought to carry a health warning; five minutes into third track â€œFor Rudy Carreraâ€ being a prime example. â€œSong For Maya Derenâ€ is like REM sleep briefly troubled by monsters, before the sleep of â€œUp Up And Back To 1982â€ mixes distant hums with vinyl crackle sounds akin to rain on a window before, once again, the nightmares return around the six minute mark. This evaporates, warm bottle-music arpeggios arrive, but these in turn are crushed into lo-fi, 8-bit 4-bit and beyond. Itâ€™s a pattern that repeats unpredictably and itâ€™s certainly not always pleasant.
Were it not for the rather petulant sudden storms that whip up irregularly, I would be full of praise for the confidently sparse, measured soundscapes that are created here, a form of contemporary digital remodelling of music concrete that forms the larger part of the work. And while I certainly wouldnâ€™t want to suggest that music should be anaemic or palliative, in this case itâ€™s the furious interludes that donâ€™t complement the whole, and a more measured temper throughout could have left this as a very elegant album, and itâ€™s the cacophony-free pieces such as track 2 â€œNowHereâ€ and track 6 â€œNoWhereâ€ (do you see what they did there?) that are the strongest. Stuart Bruce
via Chain DLK